How to Analyze the Quality of Backlinks for SEO


In SEO, the quality of a backlink is more important that the total number of links pointing to a website. Therefore after gathering a number of potential link sources into a comprehensive list, the links shouldbe further broken down to evaluate the quality and effect they will have on a website. This process tears a link apart using analytics tools. Once this process sieves the compiled list, the outcome is a number of worthwhile links that a webmaster can target to gain backlinks.

The main characteristics of the websites selected for link building are:

A great PageRank

PageRank (PR) is Google’s evaluation of the importance of a website, and it is one of the factors that affect the position of a website in the search engine results page (SERP), for a specific search term. To give a PageRank, Google calculates the number and value of links in a website. If a website is receiving links from websites with great PageRank, it acquires a great PageRank. A website with no links to it will have a PR0 while the top websites have a PR8 – PR10. Social media websites, news websites, websites of education and government institutions have a high PageRank because they have numerous links pointing to them.

It has relevant content

Relevance is in relation to the content on both the source and the destination of the link. For example, an ecommerce fitness store can receive a link from a fitness blog article about what to wear in the gym, but it would be difficult to prove the relevance of a link from a law firm to a page on such an ecommerce store. Sometimes, relevance conflicts with authority. Using the example above, a link to the ecommerce store from a fitness blog is relevant, but it would be more authoritative to gain a link from a medical journal explaining the need to buy professional gym wear. Users would trust a medical journal more than a fitness blog.

Good traffic

The crux of SEO is gaining organic traffic by positioning a website on search engines. While working towards that, getting a few links from authoritative websites can generate great traffic levels. Beyond looking at the number of page views, it is wise to assess the quality of traffic in a website. It is almost impossible to gauge traffic levels without access to a website’s analytics accounts, but there are various tools offering website traffic estimates. Such tools estimate page views, the search terms drawing traffic to a website, the duration users stay on a page, audience demographics as well as the devices used to access a website. With such data, a webmaster can tell whether a link from that website will draw an audience from the right geographical zone and age group. The data will also explain the type of content users need when they follow the backlink.

Great overall health of the domain

Once the list of backlink sources is compiled on a platform such as the LovingDA Backlink Manager, the domain health diagnosis begins. A good backlink source should not attract search engines’ penalties for spam. Hence, use a tool that gauges the spam score of a potential link source. A tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer analyzes the number of outbound links, the referring domains, the total number of pages of a website and the size of the site in comparison to the number of links on it.

In addition to spam analysis, check the domain age. A website that has been around for a while, publishing great content, has better authority than a website that is a few months old.

Overall, after listing a number of backlink sources, the most important task is analyzing them before engaging a link building strategy.